The 40-seat restaurant is owned by Berkeley Heights natives Nadine and Bob Tokash, with the kitchen overseen by executive chef Michael Metzner, who provides "new American cuisine with Mediterranean and Italian influences.”
The Times said Giovanni's is "short on dazzle at first blush. Its pleasures creep up on you instead, starting with the warmth of the staff; the small, reasonably priced wine list; the fresh bread; the clean, crisp décor; and finally the polished cooking of" Metzner.
"It is cooking that emphasizes both freshness and variety, and the focus rarely strays from carefully articulated flavors and handsome, unfussy plating," the review read.
The restaurant was rated "very good" rather than "excellent," as the reviewer found minor fault with service: "A few wrinkles remain to be ironed out. There were longish waits between courses during both our visits, and the teamwork among the servers was not seamless."
Giovanni's is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday to Friday and from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday. It's closed on Sundays. Call 908-464-6644 to make a reservation.